Eco-activism often proceeds as if the current environmental crisis resulted from accidental externalities. But the deeper reasons for the everyday destruction of both the environment and human society lie in capitalist accumulation itself and in our obsession with economic growth. What would environmentalism look like if it took this fact seriously?
In a world where socio-ecological ruination is ubiquitous, environmental engagement cannot be limited to denouncing exploitation and protecting nature and communities from it. It also has to practice active ecological care. Based on her research in Italy, in this talk Laura Centemeri presents the permaculture movement as an example of an environmentalism that is grounded in practices of ecological care: an art of reinhabiting. She discusses the notion of care as an expression of environmental reflexivity and the societal and political challenges that this perspective raises.
Laura Centemeri is Chargée de recherche in environmental sociology at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and a member of the Center for the Study of Social Movements (CEMS) at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS) in Paris. Her current areas of interest and research projects include the sociology of (e)valuation and environmental conflicts, everyday environmentalism and sustainable materialism (with a focus on the permaculture movement), and the sociology of repair and environmental disasters. Her latest book is La permaculture ou l’art de réhabiter (2019).